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Maty

Homosexuality destroyed Rome

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Carthage was infested with homosexuals who spread their vice to Rome and so ultimately destroyed the Roman Empire.

 

This diagnosis comes from no-one other than Roberto De Mattei the deputy head of the Italy's National Research Council. Full details are in the Telegraph here

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8438210/Fall-of-Roman-Empire-caused-by-contagion-of-homosexuality.html

 

and on that page there's a link to rebuttal (to which I contributed).

 

Why Carthage I wonder? As far as I know contemporary Semitic cultures were much more homophobic than the Romans. If someone is going to claim that homosexuality debauched the empire, shouldn't they be blaming the Greeks?

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It's obvious that this "discovery" is fueled by the need in justify modern political views. I suppose he chose Carthago because it was based in North Africa and perhaps he wants to draw parallel with the immigration influence coming to Italy (I understand that most of them came from North Africa).

 

Anyway it's beyond laughable, the Carthagians couldn't influence the Romans into anything as they were murdered and their city turn into desolated ruins after the third Punic war. And as I recall Rome fell during the rule of the Catholic church who very much oppose homosexuality.

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Strange it comes at a time when tunisian migrants are flooding the italian coast, those "pesky non-UE muslims who dare try getting a better life in Europe when we have so many troubles" (as shown by the Irish, Portuguese and Greek budgetary crisis). After all the only thing those migrants are good for is providing young flesh to Berlusconi's "bonga bonga" intimate parties, as shown by the marrocan girl Ruby...

 

While Berlusconi and friends can't blame allies and friends like the other members of the UE (especially with their own budget issues which might make them fall too), they've found an easy target in those former colonies which were much better behaved at the time of Il Duce Mussolini and are now revolting and where people fleeing their own countries...

 

A quick research on the web shows the close links of Mattei with the catholic church (he received medals from the Vatican for his defense of hardcore christinism) and Gianfranco Fini, leader of a far right political party : Mattei has been described as "the eminance grise" of Fini, who began his carreer as chairman of the MSI youths, the MSI being the direct heir to Mussolini's party.

 

This line of thought on homosexuality and carthage might very well stem from a corrupted memory of the senate's accusations against Scipio Africanus while he was in Sicily, planning to land in Africa... the link with the current situation being Carthage.

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Carthage was infested with homosexuals who spread their vice to Rome and so ultimately destroyed the Roman Empire.

 

Wow... Proof positive that the persistence of cultural feuds can last thousands of years even after the combatants themselves are long gone.

 

Irrespective of my personal opinions on such behaviour, it does seem that the prevalence toward homosexuality occurs when a society is comfortable. In times of strife, struggle, and survival there's a great deal less tolerance toward it, though in fairness cultural traditions can persist for a very long time.

 

Did homosexuals destroy Rome? Erm... No... Politics, economy, health, enviromental issues, and lots of hairy foreigners wanting their share of the good times had more to do with it. But we all know don't we? Seems the italians have other ideas.

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I agree with you, Bryaxis. In addition, one could make the argument that tolerance of homosexuality was a feature of Roman and Greek societies not on their way to decline, but when at they were at their peak. Let's be fair. Same sex attraction is a feature of most mammalian species. Homophobia, on the other hand, seems to be a political ploy, from the Theodosian prohibitions against homosexuality to Berlusconi's anti-gay barbs and the current push within the US Republican party to garner votes by using the red flag of gay marriage.

 

Strange it comes at a time when tunisian migrants are flooding the italian coast, those "pesky non-UE muslims who dare try getting a better life in Europe when we have so many troubles" (as shown by the Irish, Portuguese and Greek budgetary crisis). After all the only thing those migrants are good for is providing young flesh to Berlusconi's "bonga bonga" intimate parties, as shown by the marrocan girl Ruby...

 

While Berlusconi and friends can't blame allies and friends like the other members of the UE (especially with their own budget issues which might make them fall too), they've found an easy target in those former colonies which were much better behaved at the time of Il Duce Mussolini and are now revolting and where people fleeing their own countries...

 

A quick research on the web shows the close links of Mattei with the catholic church (he received medals from the Vatican for his defense of hardcore christinism) and Gianfranco Fini, leader of a far right political party : Mattei has been described as "the eminance grise" of Fini, who began his carreer as chairman of the MSI youths, the MSI being the direct heir to Mussolini's party.

 

This line of thought on homosexuality and carthage might very well stem from a corrupted memory of the senate's accusations against Scipio Africanus while he was in Sicily, planning to land in Africa... the link with the current situation being Carthage.

Edited by Ludovicus

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A more convincing case can be made that homophobia destroyed the Empire because was a symptom of the intolerant, totalitarian mindset that prevailed right before the Fall of the West an attitude that maybe made homosexuals, pagans, Jews and Christian heretics less interested, or even hostile, to the survival of the Empire at a critical moment.

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I think the main fault of logic displayed by this line of reasoning is that same-sex inclination among males automatically leads to effeminate behavior, and therefore a loss of martial valor. It doesn't. Ancient Greece, and in particular Sparta, suggests otherwise.

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I didn't even want to start to read this thread! Then, thank Fortuna, you guys showed me you had brains. I guess I am still too new here not to have been taken aback. I should have had more faith in this group. :)

 

I love that there are intelligent on this board.

 

Obviously political smoke screens. I had really hoped we were getting beyond all of this; but as hard times creep up on all of our economies, I guess scapegoats are needed. Too bad.

 

Thanks for sharing this.

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...Facebook Member Terrence Lockyer made a very thoughtful post at our Facebook Page (and well researched as ist seemed, so i thought i repost it here)

so below you see the post from Terrence Lockyer

 

A little more on this. From quotes I've seen, I have at least been able to track down the ancient writing that de Mattei's referring to; that is, De Gubernatione Dei ("On the Government of God") by the fifth century church father Salvianus,... who was active in what is now France. He was born circa 400, apparently witnessed the Franks' attack on Trier in 418, will have been aware of the sack of Rome by the Visigoths under Alaric in 410, and is writing in the wake of the Vandal capture of Carthage (and presumably took a similar view of the sack of Rome in 455, as he lived until after 470), which he interpreted as divine judgment on a decadent and sinful empire and Christianity. The standard edition seems still to be that of Franz Pauly, Salviani Presbyteri Massiliensis Opera Omnia (Vienna [Vindobonae] : C. Gerold 1883), volume 8 of the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL) series. This can be found at

 

http://www.archive.org/details/corpusscriptoru14wissgoog

 

or

 

http://www.archive.o...omnia07paulgoog

 

E. M. Sanford's 1930 translation of the work in question is available on Roger Pearse's site in the collection of additional texts at

 

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/

 

The specific passage referred to by de Mattei would appear to be from Book 7, beginning around chapter 16 (which commences on p. 176 in Pauly - it's XVI in his Roman-numeralled chapters, 65 in Arabic numerals), which may be read at

 

http://www.tertullia...ov_07_book7.htm

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Some interesting links although I am not convinced that Salvian, On the Government of God (1930) Book 7 [Translated by Eva M. Sanford] is the diatribe against homosexuality implied by the original article.

 

I had a read through the first dozen of so sections of it and they seem to be a general cry against general vices (possibly exmplified by the 'arena' although I thought that had stopped by then - possibly he just meant horse racing) and lewdness of masters with their maidservants instead of 'cleaving to their wives' than an identifiable complaint about 'homosexual' practices per se.

 

On this basis although I haven't seen a full translation fo the original Italian articles are we as certain as the Telegraph article indicates that de Mattei was actually complaining about homosexuality? :unsure:

 

Is it conceivable that he may instead have been trying to join in on the Vatican's recent implied condemnation of the current Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and the ongoing Bunga Bunga scandal?

 

:whistling:

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it begs the question of why exactly homosexuality was treated with such diatribes. Was it loathsome to virile macho Romans? Or seen as an effeminancy that weakened Roman virtue? Zosimus clearly demonstrates the latter view. Suetonius smirks and relates gleefully how deviants get treated to Roman decree, but in his case, it's merely an excuse to write more scandalous tales for the delight of his 'conventional' readers.

 

Our image of Roman society often concentrates on their sophistication and achievements, but we mustn't forget the chauvanism inherent in their culture, never mind the callousness and readiness to tolerate violence in their midst. Youths of good family were prone to wandering the streets at night getting up to all sorts of bullying and whoring - it's considered part of growing up rather than a social problem.

 

The Roman attitude toward sex then appears to be somewhat gratuitous. It was freely available after all, either from slaves, cheap prostitutes, or illicit affairs. Since they had such a strong image of masculinity, it probably isn't suprising that not every Roman felt able or willing to meet this ideal, and sought alternative social groupings that involved homosexuality.

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yeah, I'm never clear on this at all. I read about a higher ranking soldier that made advances (in an Asian post) to the son of a local magistrate .... when the son "rebuffed" him (here I read - punched him?) the son was was in trouble for attacking a Roman ....

 

While the Roman commander hastened to the town and disciplined this soldier and did not further persecute the son .... it seems the only hub-ub was the forcing part ... not the homosexuality part. And of course - it is class sensitive.

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Given the masculine regime of the legions I doubt homosexulaity was tolerated in the legions. The situation you describe above would lead to two possible scenarios - one being a mutiny against the officer concerned (and believe me, the typical legionary was not as loyal or obedient as people usually imagine. It took hard discipline and strong leadership to get them behind you and in fairness, this was often achieved during periods of activity. The worst problem time was peaceful idleness when up to half the legion might be on leave at any time on the frontier).

 

The second possibility is the social isolation of the soldier, either from the instigation of a centurion who wants to curry favour with his seniors, or perhaps among the men, who are harbouring suspicions about their room-brother. In this latter case either a desertion or persistent punishment and menial duties are probable. Does that sound hard? The problem with seperate masculine regimes is the cruel nature of them, as bullying becomes endemic if not institutional, with members of that regime required to conform to the pecking order or suffer the consequence.

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The real problem with any speculation about how the legions operated in practice as opposed to modern perceptions of how they 'should have' or 'actually may have' operated is precisely that - specualtion. There is so little written about internal discipline and for this discussion how homosexuality or indeed sexuality in general was perceived then in my view there is no 'correct' answer.

 

If I can take an example from more recent history; the Royal Navy of the 17th and 18th century, due to the time spent at sea, was an almost totally masculine environment the same as the early to mid-Principate legion was by 'law'. Winston Churchill famously took the view however that the very masculine RN was therefore only renowned for 'Rum, Sodomy and the lash'.

 

Why should life in a Roman legion have been markedly different from that when it faced similar pressures and restrictions on permanent relationships? THere would have been issues with discipline a proportion of the men would probably have had more or less equivocal sexual preferences and depending on the cultural imperatives of themen in the unit this may or may not have caused a problem but there is nothing that I am aware of amongst the limited ancient sources which indicates that homosexuality per se was subject to a blanket ban.

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